Excommunication of Catholic nunFriday, May 21, 2010 17:59
This is latest piece of news throwing the archaic morality of the Catholic church into the spotlight. To summarize, a pregnant woman was discovered to be gravely ill and the doctors decided that if she continued with the pregnancy, both her and her baby would almost certainly die. The patient therefore agreed to an abortion. The problem was that she was too sick to be moved and the hospital she was in was a Catholic one.
After some hesitation, an administrator at the hospital, Sister Margaret McBride, gave her approval for the abortion. The patient was duly saved at the cost of the fetus. But when the bishop heard about it, he declared that the nun was automatically excommunicated. According to the church, this was because it is not permissible to do evil even to bring about good as the end does not justify the means and abortion is unequivocally evil. The official church position is that the correct thing to do would be to allow both the mother and the fetus to die.
What’s even more infuriating about all this is that the patient was only 11 weeks pregnant, so the fetus had absolutely no chance of survival independently of the mother. Predictably, critics have compared this harsh and immediate judgment with the church’s tolerance of child sexual abuse by members of the clergy. It seems that according to the church, an abortion is a mortal sin that cannot be tolerated, regardless of the context and circumstances, while pedophile priests are to be sympathized with and forgiven.